He welcomed delegates from G20 countries, guest countries, international organisations and other esteemed dignitaries, to first meeting of the Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group under India’s G20 Presidency.

He is Union Minister Sri Hardeep Singh Puri. He greeted them through a video message to delegates in Bengaluru today.

Shri Puri expressed his solidarity with the people of Turkey in their moment of grief and deep difficulty. He said that India commiserates Turkey’s loss, and will continue to extend all possible humanitarian and medical support in this time of need and said that the outpouring of support to Turkey from people and leaders across the world is a powerful reminder of the shared humanity that connects us all. 

He said that it is in that same spirit that all the delegates have assembled to promote the universal sense of oneness that is enunciated in this year’s G20 theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth, One Family, One Future’. 

He further added that, now, more than ever, it is imperative that we come together and commit to an inclusive, ambitious and action-oriented agenda that promotes well-being and prosperity.

Addressing the First Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group meeting, Shri Puri said that the consequences of degrading biodiversity and environment are leading to increasing costs and complexity in all aspects of life. 

Tackling the interrelated matters of climate change and biodiversity loss demands a concerted and calibrated global effort. This will require committed and farsighted leadership by the G20 nations which collectively account for 85% of the world’s GDP, 75% of the global trade, and two-thirds of the global population. 

The Global South, in particular, looks up to the G-20 dialogue and desires an urgent consensus that prevents both a climate crisis and a debt crisis for developing nations.

Shri Puri said that India is uniquely positioned to champion the aspirations of the Global South. He said that in the last eight years, the government has taken many transformative steps in advocating for ‘climate justice’. 

Prime Minister Modi’s bold announcement of the Panchamrit Action Plan at COP-26 in Glasgow envisages India becoming a net-zero emissions country by 2070. This is one of the shortest time-spans proposed between peak emissions and net zero status by a developing economy. Shri Puri emphasised that India is demonstrating that economy and ecology are not at odds with each other, but in fact, fundamentally intertwined. 

Talking about the importance of the Working Group Meeting, Shri Puri said that this year’s Working Group provides an opportunity for G20 nations to conceptualise and adopt a concrete roadmap based on the recommendations at COP-27 in Sharm el-Sheikh and the Biodiversity Conference held in Montreal this year. He added that the Working Group will enable a shift in mindset from ownership to stewardship of natural resources.

Affirming the significance of adopting a sustainable lifestyle, Shri Puri said that it is encouraging to note that the three identified priority areas to be discussed in this Working Group are aligned with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s, Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) mission which emphasises “mindful and deliberate utilisation, instead of mindless and destructive consumption to protect and preserve the environment.”

Shri Puri said that the Working Group can be the catalyst for the G20 countries to adopt the core tenets of the LiFE movement and promote the uptake of sustainable living at a global scale. It has the potential to embed justice and fairness in the discourse around climate change and pioneer mutually beneficial instruments to accelerate climate financing and drive collaborative actions, he said.

Shri Puri expressed confidence that the collective experiences and the lessons learnt during the deliberations in the inaugural meeting of the Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group will help build a bold, visionary roadmap that can be shared with the G20 leaders.

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